Last month, Kaylee Muthart was a normal 20-year-old. After experimenting with drugs 6 months earlier, an unknown substance that was laced into her marijuana ended up changing her life forever.
Muthart was found ripping out her eyes in front of her parent’s church by a passerby who desperately tried to stop the young woman.
The good Samaritan could not subdue the woman on her own, and after a team of deputies held her down it was already too late. She was taken to the trauma unit at Greenville Memorial Hospital in South Carolina.
Her mother, Katy Tompkins, was informed once she arrived at the hospital, that she had blinded herself.
The tragic occurance happened a few days before Muthart was due in a rehab facility for her meth addiction.
‘That was a struggle. I can’t even explain that feeling when I found out. It was horrifying. Complete terror,’ Tompkins said.
‘It’s a horrible thing, but I’m still thankful because God spared her life.’
Before she was self-blinded, she was given marijuana – laced with either cocaine or meth – by her own coworkers.
It was the first time she had ever felt the type of high she got when she had smoked that laced marijuana, and afterwards she looked up her symptoms online to figure out what it was. After that she quit her job and got away from her co-workers.
She found another job a month later where a new co-worker insisted she tried meth and then she agreed to it.
She was up for 3 days straight, and recorded her behavior on it to document its impact.
‘I took a video while I was on it, and I had been up three days straight. I eventually got taken home and got sober and watched the videos, and put that person out of my life and stopped using the drug,’ she said.
Feeling isolated and lonely, she used meth again, Muthart admitted.
Although she was high on meth during the time she harmed herself, she can recall in graphic detail the moment she dug into herself.
She was outside of her family church when the drug trip led her into a delirium, which warped her perception of religion.
Muthart believed the dead were stuck in their graves and required a sacrifice from her, specifically her eyes, to release the dead to God.
‘I thought everyone who had died was stuck in their graves, that God was up in Heaven alone, and that I had to sacrifice something important to be able to release everyone in the world to God,’ she said.
‘It made the world darker and took everything I believed in and distorted them to make me go down the path to pulling out my eyes.
‘It was scary, I didn’t understand what God wanted of me, but it made me feel a sense of righteousness that I had to be the one to do it. And I was glad to do it because I’ve always had a big heart and nobody’s ever giving me that love back.
When she felt like she was running out of time to ‘save the world’ and the acquaintance she was searching for never showed, she began twisting her eyes out for the sacrifice.
‘I proceeded to pull out my eyes with my bare hands and twisted them, and pulled them, and popped them. I told the pastor who showed up, ‘Pray for me, I want to see the light, pray for me.”
Now after she’d return from a stay in the hospital and then in a psychiatric facility, she is now seeing life through a different frame of mind.
‘It’s the same life, but I’m just learning everything in a new way,’ she told People.
‘Life’s more beautiful now, life’s more beautiful than it was being on drugs. It is a horrible world to live in.’
‘I’ll forget I’m blind sometimes because I know what’s around me. Not down to a tee, but I know what my mom’s house looks like,’ she said of learning to adapt to her new sensory abilities.
‘You still see but you don’t see with your eyes, it’s hard to explain because I don’t even understand it myself.
‘I’m able to be Kaylee again. I’d rather be blind and be myself than be Kaylee on drugs, and I truly mean that with my heart. I’m Kaylee Jean Muthart, just like I was 10 years ago. Just better.’
Kaylee still has her sense of humor, she said: ‘When I do something, I go big or go home… obviously. Humor is something that gets me by, laughing, music, that day itself.’
Muthart credits music as a major part of her recovery. She plays guitar and is still able to learn new songs despite losing her sight.
She is expected to return to rehab for four weeks.
Since leaving behind her life of drugs, she has begun devoting her time to service and has become a public speaker for the Commission for the blind.
Also published on Medium.